Nov 6, 2009

What is Slipstreaming?

What is Slipstreaming?

Slipstreaming dates back to pre-release of Windows 2000 (Windows NT days), Microsoft decided to create a more refined way of integrating service packs or drivers and/or other fixes back into the core Operating System, so that the enterprise customers could always maintain an install of latest version of Windows on new machines.

Slipstreaming is usually done on network shares on corporate enterprise systems. But with the arrival of CD burners being so cheap, it does actually make some sense for the home user or small business user to do the same.

In Pre-Windows 2000 days, i.e. in Windows NT time, this process was a bit complicated in the sense that when users needed to install Windows they had to explicitly download Service Packs after installation of windows, and service pack installs often required users to reinstall components that had previously been installed. This process wasn’t that easy, but with the release of Windows 2000, which fixed it all. From then on Slipstreaming was more or less the same and there are now many software's released to make this process even simpler.

Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 3

To Slipstream a Service Pack (SP2 or SP3 into a Windows XP or Windows 2000 server),

1. Download the Service Pack 3 (WINDOWSXP-KB936929-sp3-x86-ENU.exe, 316.4 MB), and save it to a directory/folder on your local hard drive (for ex: E:\XP-SP3). For easier remembrance you can rename the downloaded SP3 file to XPsp3.exe.

NOTE: There should be no spaces in the folder naming.

2. Copy the contents of your Windows XP CD to your local hard drive, just create a folder (for ex: E:\XP-CD), and copy all the contents of your Windows XP CD [original version ;-)] in that folder, this might take some time, meanwhile proceed with the next steps.

Get XP SP3 and extract it

1. While that is copying, extract the Windows XP SP3, to do this you need to open a Command Prompt (Start > Run > cmd), and go to the folder where you downloaded SP3 (cd /d E:\XP-SP3).

a. Type the command:

XPsp3.exe -x:e:\XP-SP3

You will then get a pop-up dialog box stating that the files are being extracted.


Once the extraction is done click on OK. You will now be able to see the folder i386, in e:\XP-SP3 folder, which contains the extracted files.

Combine XP with SP3

1. Open a Command Prompt (Start > Run > cmd), and go to the folder where you downloaded SP3 (cd /d E:\XP-SP3).

a. Type the command:

servicepack filename /integrate:drive/path

In my example the command is

WINDOWSXP-KB936929-sp3-x86-ENU /integrate:E:\XP-CD


Once you hit enter you will get an error pop-up.


This happens by the fact that your Windows CD contains updates which cannot be automatically installed when you run the setup. This type of errors occurs when the CD’s are usually from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) suppliers (ex: HP, Dell, IBM or others).

You cannot use this type of CD to create a slipstreamed SP3 install.

For doing this you need to first extract the files from the CD and then integrate the SP3 files to the CD.


Once the process is completed you should get a confirmation that “Windows XP Service Pack 3 has now been

Slipstreamed into your original Windows XP files”.


Create Bootable CD

To create a bootable CD, first extract boot loader image from the original Windows XP CD. To do this explore Windows XP CD and goto “Bootable CD” folder. Copy Microsoft Corporation.img to the drive where you have downloaded the Windows XP files (E:\XP-CD).

From Start > Programs > Nero Burning Rom

From the dialog box select “CD-ROM (Boot)” in New Compilation window. On the boot tab select the “Image File” radio button and select browse to choose the image file, which in our case is “E:\XP-CD\Microsoft Corporation.img” file.


Next goto the “Label” tab and give a name to your Windows XP SP3 CD, such as WINXPSP_EN. Next press New and select the files and folders from the slipstreamed location.

Finally goto Burn tab to select the Read/Write speed of the CD.


Click on Burn, once ready you will have Slipstreamed Windows XP SP3 CD ready to use.



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